The efforts of many African states to regain control over the exploitation of their resources and take charge of their development have generated significant scholarly interest globally.
Drawing on the growing law and development scholarship, this article considers development interventions within the extractive resource sector in Africa to understand how they fit into the “developmental state” framework originally used to understand the economic development of East Asia after World War II. Simply put, a developmental state is a state that has demonstrated a commitment to pursuing national development with a clearly defined ideological and institutional commitment.
In order to achieve developmentalism, it is not enough to have a developmental ideology; it is equally essential that the state demonstrate, in unmistakable terms, that it is serious about pursuing development. The concept of “development” itself is such a buzzword that it cannot be taken for granted.